I have touched on this before. A couple of times. Other bloggers on healthyplace.com have as well because it is important. Very important. It is part of living with–and recovering from–a mental illness.
Living With A Mental Illness Makes Us Feel Different
There is no way around this. And it makes sense. Before you are diagnosed with a mental illness you might have felt “different.” Perhaps your actions separated you from others. As a result, you may have felt alienated. Alone.
After you were diagnosed feeling different leads to alienation. You are suddenly thrown into the whirlwind known as Recovering From Mental Illness.
Alienation and Mental Illness
When you are suddenly waiting in line at the pharmacy, sitting in a chair waiting for your psychiatrist, describing how you feel, perhaps charting your mood, your sleep, what you eat…the list goes on. And on. And on. The result? You feel different. You might feel as if the world is a place you no longer belong in; you are suddenly alien to it.
The friends you had before, you might wonder if they will stand beside you if you falter. Your family? You wonder if they understand, if they can, what you are going through.
They cannot. Try as they might, mental illness is alienating. It survives in your mind, playing around with your neurons, and you try to put the pieces back together.
You feel alienated. Alone in your struggle. But you’re not. We are not.
Living With A Mental Illness Does Not Make You Strange
But it can make you feel as if you are; living on the outskirts of ‘normal’ society. Mental illness is an invisible disability and because of this being diagnosed with a mental illness spurs feelings of being alone in our struggle.
But the person who lives down the road, or down the hall, they too might struggle with mental illness. If one in four people, at some point in their lives, live with mental illness we are in large company. Albeit probably not happy company, but company nonetheless.